Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

Three Ways To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Rest is important. Not only does it make you a more productive employer, a more patient parent, and a more energetic spouse, it also makes you healthier as a person. If you are lacking in the sleep department, then it is finally time to get on track with your slumber. There are quite a few things that interrupt your rest, however the good news is that the most common problems tend to have simple solutions. If you are looking for a better quality of sleep, you can start right here:

Improve Your Sleeping Conditions

Your bedroom plays a huge role in your quality of rest and you may not realize it. Something as simple as being too warm could disrupt the quality of your sleep. Similarly, uncomfortable bedding or a limp pillow could likewise interfere. While you might not want to depend on earplugs or a white noise machine, you should also be aware of your sleeping environment. If your neighbor across the wall always wakes you up at 5 a.m. with their coffee grinder, it is better to deal with the earplugs than with the disruption to your rest. If sunlight disturbs your rest, you can look up blinds online to find some that help block the sun.

Get Rid Of Worries

Some adults complain of poor sleep. For many, the cause is the same. They cannot de-stress enough before bed. Work or life worries keep them tossing well into the night. If you think stress makes you too light a sleeper or if you know you have a hard time falling asleep, then you should diminish your worries. Practice meditation before bed or write in a journal on a regular basis, to let out your feelings. If there is something you can do to decrease or eradicate a worry, do it. You may want to switch jobs, or take certain steps to address your financial situation. If money has you concerned, you can budget better or look into top gold stocks to buy now. Do not worry; do what you can, instead.

Take Better Care Of Your Body

Your sleep is also affected by a few physical causes. Two of the biggest are exercise and blue light. If you are not exercising enough, you might find you have a harder time falling asleep. Exercise helps improve your rest, so it might be time to finally invest in those running shoes. Besides regular exercise, your body may affect your sleep in the form of reduced melatonin. If you stare at a screen for several hours a day, whether at work or relaxing in the evening, all the blue light from your screen could be depleting your ability to sleep deeply. Sound crazy? It is been scientifically proven. Thus, the next time you curl up for a Netflix binge watch, consider installing an app that removes blue light or buy a pair of blue light glasses from Amazon. You will notice better sleep in just a few weeks.

Guide To Baby’s First Vacation: Three Much Needed Travel Tips

Although, it is really no laughing matter, because it is entirely true, it has been said that vacationing with a baby is surely a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. How can you possibly hope to get that R&R you so need with a baby in tow? Kids, in general, are trying on the nerves when it comes to a family vacation, but an infant or toddler is that much more difficult. They require constant care and monitoring, thus if you have any hope of enjoying a bit of time away from home, you will need a few tips from this Guide to Baby’s First Vacation:

1. Plan And Pack In Advance

Once you have chosen a destination and the accommodations you will be staying at, it is time to start planning and packing for baby’s needs. Some families choose vacation cottages where they can enjoy all the comforts of home (or most of them anyway), but usually in a much smaller environment. If you are going to be staying in a hotel, do not forget to bring a Pack ‘n’ Play along to keep your baby safe in an unknown environment. It can also dub as a nighttime crib or a playpen if you intend to spend time on the beach or in a local park. From formula to diapers and even baby’s favorite blanket, everything should be accounted for.

2. Remember To Keep Your Levels Of Stress Down

If this is the first time you are traveling with a baby, you are probably stressed to the max. Now imagine just how much more stressful this journey into the unknown will be for the baby. All the sights and sounds around your little one will be new and his or her senses will be assailed by almost everything that they are not yet comfortable with. Babies react to mom’s moods, so do not compound their stress by adding your own to the mix.

3. Stick to Your Normal Routine

If you do not yet understand the importance of routine and structure in a child’s life, check out the Parent.Guide website to read an assortment of guides on childrearing. If structure and routine are important when at home, imagine how much more important they are while traveling. Everything around them is new and so they will automatically feel much less secure. Do you know anyone with a baby cries whenever they cannot see mommy in the room with them? This is much the same. Babies are often out of their comfort zone when traveling and you must do everything in your power to keep things regular and routine.

Finally, understand that it is good for the baby to become familiar with new experiences as long as you help keep their stress levels to a minimum. If you take a family vacation once or twice a year, you will want the baby to feel safe vacationing with mom and dad and some doctors believe that early exposure to travel is the best way to accomplish this. Plan and pack early, check and check again to make sure you have thought of everything, and research stores near where you are going because it is a given that you will miss something. You really can have fun traveling with a baby if you plan ahead!

Three Age-Appropriate Gift Ideas For Your Adult Child’s Birthday

As your child turns from being a kid to a grown-up, buying a gift for their Birthday can become a challenging task. Adult children are far less easy to shop for. You cannot merely give them a chocolate bar or an RC toy from the thrift store and get away with it. As a result, you may have lost the hope and settled with a gift card, clothes, or cash. We thought that we should step in to end the struggle and share with you a few gift ideas that are bound to make your child jump up with joy or at least appreciate your efforts!

From a feature-rich smartphone to a recipe delivery service — yes, a delivery service — these quality gifts will put a smile on your child’s face.:

The Latest Smartphone

With adult children doing so many things on their smartphone (from homework to research to having news and weather at their fingertips), it is smart to get one of the latest models wrapped up as a present. We recommend the following: the newest iPhone X, the older-but-still-decent Samsung Galaxy S8, and and the Huawei Mate 10, for the budget conscious. Parents can also throw in quality phone cases & screen protectors if their adult children have broken a screen or two in the past. The latest screen protectors come with cutting-edge technology that reduces scratch visibility, increases impact-absorbing strength, and minimizes dust resistance. Your grown child will appreciate the fact that you have gone out of the way to please them when a case and protector are accompanying the smartphone.

Babysitting Offers

Thinking of a unique gift such as an offer to babysit your adult child’s toddler is kind. But expect to surprise them when you slip in babysitting chits in an envelope: notes on a small paper promising anything from a holiday babysit, so the grown-up child can take a much-needed break from the hundred evenings of babysitting in the past few months. If your adult child lives far away from your locality, the chits can be substituted with cash to cover the cost of local babysitters or for a stay-at-home parent in their neighborhood capable of getting the job done. Perhaps you can contact a relative who lives in the same proximity as your grown child and ask them to babysit your grown up’s toddler over the weekend. It’s a present that will keep your adult child’s mind fresh.

Home Cleaning Gift Certificate/Voucher 

We would never advise getting a vacuum wrapped up for your adult child’s birthday. It might get you removed from next year’s celebrations or banished altogether. But if house cleaning is a prominent name on their wish list, you are about to give a gift to a clean freak who will acknowledge your efforts of trying to help. The best gift in this situation is a home cleaning gift certificate. It will enable your grown-up child to build a baseline in which each room in their house is clean at the right time. As much as you value cleanliness in your home, imagine the reaction of your child when you offer the same benefit to him/her as a present.

The takeaway: if you are clueless about what to give your adult child for their Birthday, there is something to be said for the presents mentioned above as they smooth out daily grinds and bring joy to the recipient.

Disney World

Kissimmee, Florida: Day 1

The only word that comes close to describing the feeling of waking up in the “happiest place on earth” on my son’s third Birthday is surreal. We had waited so long for this moment to arrive and now it was finally here! If you have been following My Beautiful Adventures for a while, then you will know of the love Joaquín has for all things Disney. Some of his first words were the names of Disney characters. Thus, we knew a visit to “Mickey Mouse’s House” was eventually going to happen, we just did not know when. Then out of nowhere, I was contacted by Experience Kissimmee. They were eager to promote the city of Kissimmee as an alternative to Orlando; the starting point for all Disney adventures and more. Even though I had lived in Florida as a young girl and visited Disney countless times, I must confess I had never heard of Kissimmee before. I was super excited to take this mission on and the timing could not have been more perfect, as the trip would be the same week my son turned three.

For those that do not know, Kissimmee gets you even closer to all of the parks than Orlando. We stayed at the glamorous Melia Hotel, a Spanish inspired luxury resort less than ten minutes away from all of the Disney action. The city has world-famous shopping, dining, sports, and natural wonders. You can expect year-round sunshine, an array of accommodations, and the friendliest people you can imagine. I quickly found out why families return over and over again to Kissimmee, since it is a destination that truly captures your heart. We were already planning our next trip there before the end of the first day of our vacation. Trust me, when you get the Disney itch, look into staying in Kissimmee versus Orlando. You will be so grateful you did!

Our first day also happened to be Joaquín’s Birthday, so we dedicated the entire day to the Magic Kingdom, the park we knew he would like best. As we drove there, my husband and I sang to him “Happy Birthday” and of course we were both overcome with emotion. If you are celebrating anything special when you visit Disney, make sure to mention it to the person that you pay the parking fee to. They will give you a pin to wear and every time someone working at the park sees it they will mention it. I think a thousand people must have said “Happy Birthday” to my son! Also, I highly recommend paying the extra fee to park closer. You will be walking and waiting in plenty of lines once you enter the park and this indulgence is totally worth it. Take a picture of where you parked, because I promise after a long day you will forget.

Prior to our trip, we decided to invest in a better stroller. The one we had was doing its job, but it was not comfortable to push, especially not for hours on end. We hated to spend the extra money, but it was the smartest decision we made. It was actually a pleasure to push it and I highly recommend thinking about this before you depart for Disney if you have children. Remember to double check that your diaper bag is packed perfectly. Yes, you can buy stuff at the parks, but you will pay for that convenience. On that note, if you are potty training your children, think about putting them in diapers for the day. The bathroom lines are always long, which could result in a disaster. Another thing that helped a lot was having an external battery charger for our phones. Between taking photos and letting Joaquín play with them during the long lines they died quickly.

I will never forget Joaquín’s eyes when we first walked into the Magic Kingdom. Whenever I am having a bad day, I remember that moment. We had no plan for the day, rather we wanted to go where we felt pulled. I think if you have older children you should talk as a family about who wants to do what and set goals. The parks are so massive, you have to have a plan of action. However, if you are there with younger children just being there is enough. It can be really overwhelming if you feel like you have to do and see everything. Remember not being able to do and see everything gives you a reason to return!

Even though we were visiting during the off-season, the park was still packed. We were only able to ride three rides (lines averaged over an hour for each one) and I was elated that Joaquín’s favorite was mine as a child: It’s A Small World. Having said that, we saw two of the shows at Cinderella’s Castle. You have to make sure you attend at least one of the show’s while you are there (the schedule will be posted all over the park). The shows are spectacular and both you and your children will be singing along to the famous Disney songs performed. While we were there they were focused on Frozen and my son was in heaven!

We really wanted to stay until the fireworks in the evening, but Joaquín was exhausted by 4PM (as were his parents). I will not lie, my heart broke a little as we left the park even though I have no doubt we will be back again. It was so just so magical and my expectations were definitely exceeded. My biggest regret is that we did not investigate the Fast Pass+. You can find out all about it here. Do not go to the parks without it like us.

After a little break back at the hotel, we decided to venture out again to Disney Springs. It is a must-visit if in Kissimmee. We ended up making it our nightly ritual while we were there. At Disney Springs you will discover an eclectic mix of unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and lively entertainment. The best way I can describe it is as a massive outdoor mall. On our first night, we all got ice cream and walked around looking for Disney souvenirs for friends and family. Eventually, none of us could walk one more step and we called it a day and retreated back to our hotel. Even though we were tired, we had a hard time falling asleep due to the anticipation about visiting the Animal Kingdom the next day. We knew we were in for another day of unforgettable memories!






Great Tips For Better Skin

Want better skin? Then you need to get a better routine and have a better understanding of your body! Here are some tips:

Think About Your Water

Make sure you tailor the skin-products you use accordingly. Susan H. Weinkle, who is an assistant clinical-professor for dermatology from the University of South Florida, in Tampa says that soft water will not remove soap very well, which means it can result in leaving a residue on the skin. If you have soft water in your area, use body and face cleansers sparingly. In comparison, hard water does not allow your washes or soaps to lather very easily, which may prompt you into using more of your cleansers than necessary, which can result in dryness. Dore Aesthetics, states that non-soap and gentle formulas that are not supposed to lather is able to minimize this issue.

Invest In Drinking Green Tea

Andrea Cambio, a dermatologist from Cape Coral, Florida, states that if your have a complexion that is blotchy and red, green tea offers anti-inflammatory properties which is soothing on the skin. She goes onto state that iced tea is better as the hot beverages may worsen your redness or other symptoms associated with rosacea. One of the other benefits of green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which can stop collagen destruction which results in wrinkles along with sun-induced DNA damages to the skin like discoloration and lines, according to a few experts.

Keep Your Stress Levels Under Control

Stress takes its toll on all parts of the body, which includes your skin. One study from Stanford University, resulted in researchers finding that during stages such as exams, students who were experiencing stress were more prone to acne breakouts compared to the students who were less pressured. This is because stress increases hormone production like cortisol, which can cause the skin to become more oily and lessen its abilities to combat acne-causing bacteria, according to Lisa Donofrio who is one of the associate clinical professors of dermatology from the Yale University School of Medicine. To keep your stress levels under control, you should participate in the regular practice of stress management methods, such as mediation, deep breathing, and yoga.

Improve The Air Around You

Staying away from smoky environments happens to be a wise decision. According to Diane S. Berson, who is an assistant clinical-professor for dermatology from the Weil Medical College University, based in New York, just being close to smoke will result in releasing free-radicals that quicken aging and cause damages to your skin. Other types of indoor pollutants will also have a negative impact on the skin. Making changes, such as changing the air-filters in your furnace more regularly and when cooking with oil use an extractor fan. Also consider that indoor air that is dry can result in dehydrating your skin, which makes those fine lines a lot more noticeable.

Change Your Toothpaste

Added flavors and tartar-control ingredients can contribute to one of the more common skin conditions known as perioral dermatitis. This appears like scaling and pimples around the area of the mouth, according to Donofrio.

Lower Your Dairy Intake If You Are Prone To Acne

Research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health has discovered that girls in their teenage years that consume high levels of dairy products are around 30% more prone to acne compared to those who consumed less. Experts suggest that this is true for women who are susceptible to more serious breakouts. Skim milk, surprisingly is actually a worse-offender in comparison to whole milk.

Researchers and scientists still do not know why dairy products can result in acne, but a few surmise that natural hormones found in dairy could be the culprit, according to Leslie Baumann, a dermatologist from Miami Beach in Florida, who goes onto say that even the organic dairy products can result in breakouts. Instant-breakfast drinks, sherbet, and cottage cheese are also associated with causing acne. While avoiding or lowering dairy will not be the answer to getting rid of pimples on its own, it can make a vast difference for people who are more prone to severe breakouts, according to the experts.

If you need help with your acne then could be a wise option if it is quite bad.

Watch Out For Sun Exposure While Indoors

UV rays, especially the UVA rays are able to penetrate your windows around your office and home which can result in brown spots and wrinkling. The same applies for your car windows. A number of studies have discovered that skin cancer rates are higher on left-sides of the upper body and face compared to the right. This has to do with that left-side of the body is exposed more to the sun while driving. Over and above cancer, Donofrio notes that most people also have more sun damage and wrinkles on their left-sides of their faces too. Make sure you always use protection by wearing moisturizers with an SPF.